Meg Marshall - We're here this week with Dr. Ray Ramirez with the Peoria Area Veterinary Association. Doctor Ramirez, we focus a lot on dog health in previous topics, but a lot of cat owners out there want to know what they can do for their cat's health.
Dr. Ramirez -
That's very true, Meg, And one of the biggest, most important things you can do is keep your cat indoors. We know that, on average, our indoor cats live to be 13, outdoor cats live to be three. There's a lot of hazards out there, and a lot of chances to pick up different diseases.
So, keeping them inside is very helpful. A lot of clients say, 'but doctor, my cat likes to go outside.' This is a great time to get a little collar, or harness, and a leash to take them outside. That way, they're outside, but it's controlled and he doesn't have exposure to the other kitties.
Meg Marshall - You can take him for a cat walk!
Dr Ramirez - Exactly!
Meg Marshall- What are some other health concerns cat owners should consider?
Dr Ramirez -
As we look at our indoor kitties, some of the biggest things are the preventative vaccines. Of course, rabies is a concern for all our animals, so they should be vaccinated against that.
Upper respiratory viruses are things people usually call distemper. Those are airborne, so even though they don't come in contact with other kitties, we can still get those. We can bring those virus particles in on our clothes. Those are probably the two biggest things from a preventative standpoint.
The other thing is good nutrition. Make sure you have a good quality cat food, there's a lot of them out there. If you have questions, ask your veterinarian. There can be certain medical issues that can come up and may need some dietary modifications to help prevent that from being an ongoing problem.
The other thing that's real important is flea control. We don't think of it as much being inside, because we think of fleas as being outdoors. Oliver doesn't want to be around anymore.
But, fleas can be an issue even with our indoor kitties. In 2010 we had six of our indoor cat households that were dealing with fleas. We think the fleas probably jumped on the clients as they came in the house, then the fleas were like, there's a cat, I'll jump on that. Then they end up with fleas in their home. So getting on a good flea preventative is really important. Again, ask your veterinarian because your situation may vary from others.
Maybe you have a dog, maybe you don't. Maybe you take your pet out on a leash for his cat walk. That can help you get the best solution for what you need at home.
Meg Marshall - thank you so much, Doctor Ramirez for helping our cat lovers out there.